Reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Ladies, from both sides of the ocean, are always been excellent writers of supernatural and ghost stories, so it’s good to see that the tradition is still carried on today by authors such as Katherine Hayes, whose contributions to the genre are scattered in various magazines and anthologies. The present collection assembles ten stories ( seven reprints and three original tales) penned by that British writer in an elegant hardcover volume beautifully produced by the invaluable Sarob Press.
Readers find of supernatural fiction will find an enticing mix of classical themes, revisited in a modern fashion. A typical example is ” A Fold in the Curtain” where a young man discovers that his grandfather’s house is plagued by the ghost of a former lover of his relative. “The Second Crown” is a traditional, well-accomplished piece where a man gets in possession of an object that is not supposed to be taken away, triggering, to his ruin, supernatural forces, while “Something in the Fog” is the enjoyable report of a late vengeance from beyond the grave and ” The Changing Room” the deceiving description of the nuisance of having intruding neighbours, then developing into a nightmarish, uncanny situation.
To me, the best stories are “The Folded Hands”, a fascinating, offbeat tale portraying an unsuccessful magician trying hard to get in with a disappointing life and ” The Chapel in the Woods”, a superb, atmospheric piece a loner gets stuck in a mansion haunted by the shadows of an unholy past.
A very enjoyable collection of well-written stories apt to satisfy any ghost story lover.